Friday's Child: Gareth McGuigan, Nicor Construction
This week’s Friday’s Child is Gareth McGuigan, director with Nicor Construction who has been very supportive of young people across the Derry City and Strabane District Council area by providing employment and learning opportunities through a variety of Apprenticeship programmes. Gareth, having come through the Apprenticeship system himself, is a strong advocate for earning while you learn and opening up employment opportunities for young people who want to get into employment after leaving school. The first Apprenticeship Week is taking place across Northern Ireland during 03-07 February and Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Skills team will be working with the department, local education providers, training programmes and businesses to promote apprenticeships to young people, teachers and parents and help tackle some of the myths around it. Nicor Construction has over thirty years experience and provides solutions in property and facilities maintenance, refurbishments, extensions, listed building renovations and new build schemes for private and public sector clients.
How would you describe yourself?
I am an outgoing person, I enjoy time with my family more than anything else. I am a grateful father to two beautiful daughters and husband to an awesome wife, so I guess that makes me a family man.
I served an Engineering Apprenticeship with Herdsman’s Mill and I am now a director with a great company Nicor Construction, who are based in Derry,
I work hard, love to laugh and see the best in people.
Happiest childhood memory?
Day trips out to the beach at Bundoran or Portrush with my whole family, I am one of nine children, so we were packed into the estate car and the craic was always good. Sometimes, cousins, aunts and uncles made the same trip, same day with us. We all still laugh about those days!
Who was your childhood hero?
My father and he still is. We lost him recently. Dad and Mum worked hard so although there were nine of us and we were not spoiled, we never wanted. Those day trips often happened after Dad, who was an engineer himself (served his Apprenticeship in Nestles) came off Night Shift in DuPont.
What was your first job?
I had a part-time job, collecting bottles and glasses in a local Dancehall when I was 14 and then got a part-time job on evening shift in Herdsman’s Mill at 16. My first real job was an Engineering Apprenticeship I got in Herdsman’s Mill in what was called the Mechanic Shop. I didn’t see it then but that opportunity ensured I would always have a decent job and income. It instilled a good work ethic in me as the Fitters and Engineers who trained me were skilled men, used to putting in the hours and getting the job done. I hadn’t pushed myself at school, however as part of my Apprenticeship I was sent to NWRC to complete BTec modules alongside my skills development. This would eventually lead to me achieving a BEng. Hons Degree in Electronics and Computing from Ulster University (Magee).
Adrian Mole (The Cappuccino Years or anything by Sue Townsend) I love to Laugh.
Paint Your Wagon. I used to watch this all the time with my younger brother Barry, Lee Marvin is outstanding in it as is Clint Eastwood who sings in it!
Favourite television programme?
Masterchef – especially the Australian version.
It could always be worse!
I’m a steak and whiskey man.
Favourite method of relaxation?
Listening to music and driving (Donegal coastlines, not rush hour).
Favourite holiday destination?
Quarteira in Portugal.
Who would you most like to meet?
My younger self to let him know you’re doing good.
What makes you happy?
What makes you angry?
People who take advantage of or mistreat the vulnerable.
What is the human quality you most admire?
What is the human quality you least admire?
What was the worst thing to happen to you in your life?
I’ve witnessed several traumatic events however losing my father recently is up there.
What is your greatest fear?
What has been the high point of your life to date?
There are many thankfully, but like most fathers the days our girls were born were simply awesome.
How would you like to be remembered?
As a good man, father, husband, son, brother , friend.
What is your most treasured possession?
If you won the lotto, what would you do with it?
Make a difference! Help our young people locally for starters, as we don’t realise the pressure they are under and what difference a little investment in them makes.
The apprenticeships we get to award through Nicor has proved this to me. Oh, and spoil myself and a few other people too Lol!
If you could be granted one wish in life, what would you ask for?
A healthy happy life for me and those I love!
If you could write your own epitaph, what would it be?
Everything will be okay in the end, if it’s not okay, it’s not the end!